The Preissner Passive House, the first certified Passive House in Michigan, is the recipient of the 2019 Certified Green Home Award. The unique home was designed by Ann Arbor architect’s Architectural Resource, built by Adaptive Building Solutions, and owned by Eric and Jo Ann Preissner. The construction of the Ann Arbor, MI home was completed in the past year and allowed the design and construction team to make unforgettable strides in innovation in 2019. Through its innovative construction, The Preissner Passive House is set to dramatically reduce energy costs by an order of magnitude per the PHIUS+ standard.
Features of the house, such as the Trombe wall, support the health of both the residents and the surrounding environment. A Trombe wall is a technology used to passively heat a home via the storage and slow release of solar radiation. The wall was employed to harness solar energy instead of an array of south-facing windows and a concrete floor. Michael Klement, of Architectural Resource, highlighted the creativity and synergy of working with the builder, Adaptive Building Solutions, in devising a symbiotic, functional design. The associated overhangs on the Trombe wall allow for the technology to work only when needed, truly capturing the essence of working smarter, not harder. Jo Ann Preissner, one of the owners of this home, highlighted the flow of the home. It’s obvious that the design of the house was well thought out, both to the homeowners and their community. “We absolutely love being here,” she declared with a sense of pride.
Passive House and passive design are not new concepts. Conceived in the 1970s, the idea has grown since its birth and is now serving to make housing count. In a world overrun with “brand new and obsolete homes” (“BNO’s” to those in the business), passive homes set out to make it matter that someone has built a home.
Only recently having gathered momentum and assembled public support, the passive house, according to Michael Klement of Architectural Resource, is a component of the answer to our energy crisis. Alex Jackson, a project designer with Architectural Resource agrees with the sentiment and went above expectations to help realize the dreams of the Preissners. Amidst obstacles, Jackson maintains that this project changed the way he saw building. The Preissner Passive House is not the only passive house being built in Michigan. Architectural Resource currently has several passive house projects in the works. This speaks to the growing rapport that passive homes and energy efficiency have with the public eye. Even
so, it is the goal of Architectural Resource and the Preissners to increase accessibility to the general public within the near future. The upfront investment, while heavy by most standards, is being gradually lowered. After all, we really can’t afford to put a price on our damaged environment. Moving forward, we must be armed with innovative solutions; Architectural Resource and the Preissner Passive House are working to achieve just that. It is estimated that in the year 2020, the rate of single-family home building will increase by 10 percent. If this trend continues, the design of communities must be more intentional.